Crazy Blizzard Stories: Day 1 – From TIME Magazine
After the weekend of crazy weather we just had, we thought it would be fun to research other crazy winter weather stories. This one, titled “The Weather: The 24-Million-Ton Snow Job”, comes from TIME Magazine and was published on Friday, February 3, 1967.
The Weather: The 24-Million-Ton Snow Job
Friday, Feb. 03, 1967
“Chicagoans knew that the balmy 65° weather could hardly last—it was, after all, the warmest Jan. 24 on record— but they little dreamed how startling the change would be. Within two days, the temperature plummeted to the 20s, snow came cascading down, and icy winds gusted through the streets. Though no stranger to wintry storms, Chicago found itself in the brief space of 24 hours paralyzed by the worst blizzard in its history—a raging storm that tore through large sections of the Midwest and caused at least 75 deaths.
The howling blast began Thursday morning. By midafternoon, Chicago’s streets were clogged by wind-whipped snowdrifts and stalled autos. With traffic at a standstill and visibility at zero, tens of thousands of marooned workers had to spend the night in firehouses, hospitals, and hotels. On the Calumet Expressway, 1,000 stranded motorists joined hands so that they would not get lost, snaked their way to nearby homes. A 50-year-old woman suffered a fatal heart attack on a stalled bus at 5 a.m. Friday. Not until six hours later could snowbound police remove her body.
Deserted Loop. By the time the storm subsided, thousands of abandoned cars and 500 city buses stood all but buried by a record 23 inches of fresh snow—whose weight was officially estimated at 24 million tons. All schools were closed, and most working people stayed home from their jobs. There were no mail or milk deliveries, and few newspapers found their way to readers. Virtually all travel in and out of the city was hampered; O’Hare International Airport was still closed early this week, the longest shutdown in its history. One newsman surveyed the deserted Loop, dubbed it “Leningrad West.
View from the Turret. The blizzard’s main force battered a 100-mi.-wide strip extending from northeast Missouri to southern Michigan, inconveniencing millions. After widespread freezing rain, ice-laden power lines snapped, leaving dozens of entire communities—and 4,000 families in Kansas City—without electricity. In Michigan, Governor George Romney donned a Cossack hat, commandeered a lumbering National Guard half-track and, grandly manning the turret, cried out encouragement to the citizenry as he rode to the state capitol. In Gary, winds off Lake Michigan piled up 15-ft. snowdrifts, and Indi- ana’s Governor Roger Branigin mobilized a National Guard unit to clear the roads—only to find that many of the Guardsmen were themselves snowed in.
It was a week of freakish weather in other parts of the U.S. as well. Widely scattered tornadoes, uncommon in winter, ripped through Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Delaware, damaging dozens of buildings and killing at least six persons. As in Chicago, temperatures soared to unprecedented highs—in Baltimore 74°, New York 68°, and Boston 61 °—before dropping back to normal.
In the blizzard-battered Midwest, however, the return to life-as-usual seemed a long way off. At week’s end, Chicago’s temperature dropped to an icy 15°—which made the city’s efforts to dig out all the more unpleasant.”
To read the full article, CLICK HERE. Does anyone remember this storm? Comment below!